While some countries in Asia such as Hong Kong, the Philippines and Taiwan have banned the practice of dog eating, evidence shows that in China, the biggest dog eating country in the world, it continues to thrive.
It is estimated that up to 10 million dogs are slaughtered every year in China, many deliberately slowly and cruelly, while all suffer the stress and pain of being farmed in concentrated numbers before being killed in a variety of ways which rarely ensure a quick and humane death.
Animals Asia field investigators have witnessed trucks loaded with anything up to 2,000 dogs per truck arriving at the wholesale Hua Nam Wild Animal Market in Guangzhou. These poor animals have spent 3 days and 3 nights, squashed together in tiny cages, unable to move, without food, water or shelter. The dogs are then brutally lifted by the neck and hurled into a pen by a man wielding a metal tongs. Here they fight through fear, hunger and desperation to survive while awaiting a horrendously slow death in order to provide meat for restaurants in Guangzhou.
Diseases such as parvo virus, canine distemper and leptospirosis are rife and spread like wildfire in dogs whose immune systems are already low due to depression and starvation. We often witness a large number of dead and diseased dogs and cats which have been pulled out of the cages and slung by the side.
The dog meat trade is becoming increasingly industrialized and is even promoted by the government in some provinces. Huge dog farms have been developed and giant gentle breeds, like the St. Bernard, have been imported to be cross-bred with the local Chinese mongrel to produce a fast growing, docile “meat dog” that can be slaughtered at 4 months. Livestock sections of large bookshops stock books and VCDs on dog farming which promote horrific slaughter methods. Consequently, vacuum packed and canned dog meat are becoming increasingly available in some supermarkets.
Investigations also reveal that the fur from slaughtered dogs is now entering local and international markets and being used as "trim" for fashion items, or for trinkets such as keyrings and hair accessories.
Animals Asia has examined arguments ranging from those referring to culture, to those which state that, as long as the animal does not suffer, then eating dog meat is no different to eating the meat of other domestically raised animals such as pork, chicken and beef. However, we believe that to advocate humane slaughter for dogs would legitimize the practice and undermine the tireless and effective work of those Asian countries that have recently outlawed the practice. Time and time again, dogs across the world have proved their unique qualities and how valuable they can be in partnership with people. We believe that they should not be part of the food chain.
The scale of the cruelty is immense, but our recent survey on China’s largest internet portal - Sina.com - had over 5,000 responses and showed that many Chinese people are passionately against the idea of eating our “best friends”.
Education is the key to ending the misery of dogs in China and Animals Asia needs your help as we tackle the problem with positive programmes like Doctor Dog and brand new initiatives like the China distribution of over 100,000 VCDs of our innovative inhouse film "Dr. Eddie: Friend or Food?" - inspiring and compelling a reconsideration of attitudes at a grass roots level.
Unloaded outside a market in Southern China
Special sauce for making dog "hot pot"
A pitiful St Bernard-cross - a new fast growing meat dog